One thing I started to discover a while back is that the old adage 'actions speak louder than words' can be very accurate. As I said; I really, really struggled during the first year of poly. No matter what my girlfriend said to me, something just wasn't clicking. I felt like I had the short end of the stick in terms of time, compared to her online guy.
It seems to me that you are undoubtedly feeling that way.
So... have I got this right? You and your husband live together. She and her kids now live somewhere else... but did live with you for 6 months, as she was going through a divorce and you guys helped her out?
What does he actually say when you tell him you're feeling neglected? Have you tried writing down on paper the actual time you spend together, vs his time with her? He is possibly not seeing it clearly - or, of course, you may not be seeing it clearly.
Me personally? I want a primary relationship that includes the most quality time spent with me. Or at least equal. If my girlfriend was out seeing a secondary more than she was at home, I wouldn't feel like a primary at all. I *want* to spend most of my time with my primary... and I expect my primary to want it too! If she doesn't want it... she has to tell me... that's her responsibility. It's not about forcing a relationship setup; but about being honest with your desires.
If he has deeper feelings for her than he's letting on, then perhaps you can encourage him to be honest about it. Maybe he does... but is scared that you might fly off the handle? Maybe he's telling the truth that he loves you and doesn't want to leave you... but isn't telling the WHOLE truth about his feelings for her?
I don't know... to me... the only reason he would spend more time at her place is a) he's in love with her, b) doesn't want to be with you, c) doesn't think spending TIME is showing his love (i.e. he feels or shows love in a different way)... or d) she's very needy and he wants to help her out?
Either way... you have to get your needs out there! Not just communicating them; but considering your options if something doesn't change. It's not about getting your own way - but he has to hear you. You're not happy. What is he going to do about it?
God, I had an issue when my girlfriend wanted to see a secondary once a week, because she didn't ever take her husband out on dates and I was wondering whether she thought it was ok to just leave myself and her husband at home all the time, but expect to go out with her boy. There's got to be a balance... otherwise... primary becomes safety net - you're just there for the familiarity, house, kids, etc. That's ok if that's the agreement - but you're clearly wanting more.
So, first step... write it down? See what it looks like in black and white over the next week... or if you can remember, write down what last week was like.
Second step... get your point across. Really get it across. You're not happy, right? You feel like a secondary? Don't give up on communicating that until something changes.
Third step... say goodbye to requesting that he comes home, or any kind of ad-hoc arrangement. Get him (and her) to work out a dating schedule. If he wants her as another primary, who lives outside the house, then he can split his time equally. If he wants her as a secondary, then he can spend a bit less time over there. Get him to commit to certain days of the week and set a limit on how often she is there when you are there.
So it could go like this:
Mon - you and him
Tue - him and her - at her place
Wed - you and him
Thur - him and her in the day; him and you at night
Fri - all three of you can hang out
Sat - with you
Sun - with her
Something like that - whatever works. You shouldn't have to share your home all the time. When you get home from work, you need to relax and unwind. Unless you want more, there's no need for her to be there when you are there more than once or twice a week. Having a schedule might make expectations and limits easier to navigate.
Incidentally - he doesn't need to tend to her emotional needs. He doesn't owe her anything. If she's in love with him... well... great... but if he's not in love? He has to stand up and speak, I think... I get the feeling he's not telling you the complete truth... or he's bending over too far for her.
me: female, 29, homoflexible
GF: my primary girlfriend, 39, heteroflexible
my metamour = Hubby (GF's husband)
3 year, open poly V, long-distance between the UK and USA
Last edited by sparklepop; 11-25-2012 at 10:01 PM.